5 Questions with NAHA Nominee Liza Espinoza-Achurra

A look by one of NAHA's Salon Team of the Year nominees.

The Salon Team of the Year award underscores the importance of team consistency and common vision—fundamental drivers for salon success. Teamwork is key in showing off versatility, diversity and creativity. We chat with Liza Espinoza-Achurra of Salon Fluxx in Naperville, Illinois, about her salon team’s nomination.

What was the inspiration for the collection?

We were inspired by Iris Van Herpen, a Dutch fashion designer who is renowned for her sculptural and 3-D design work, which reflects a passion for all things art. Each piece in our collection is based on a unique textile.

How were the looks created?

We started with recycling hair from the salon floor! The assistants were collecting hair with a length of at least two inches from guests (so yes, our salon clients are well represented here!) until we had enough to begin the transformation process. We then created "hair sheets" by ironing the hair between sheets of parchment paper to create material, or "bricks," to work with. We then utilized folding and molding techniques to sculpt our shapes, and when each piece was fully realized the color was done with Joico InstaTints spray color.

What inspired you to enter NAHA?

My husband Reynaldo and I, who are partners in the salon as well as life, love the celebration of Artistry that NAHA represents, and it is a great forum for creativity and imagination. I have been a nominee individually twice before, once in Contemporary Classic and once in Editorial. Whether we final or not, NAHA gives us a reason to challenge ourselves, stretch reality and express artful concepts, and with every completed project we feel like winners. As hairdressing is such a temporary art form in the real world, it is also wonderful to document (most of the time, haha!) our endeavors.

What was your reaction when you heard you were a nominee?

We were actually sitting on a jetway on a plane and the video kept going in and out! But friends and colleagues started texting to congratulate us and we started whooping it up! One always hopes for a nom, but when it actually happens it’s always such a surprise and joy! I had to explain myself to people sitting around me on the plane, especially since I was cursing my iPad out when the video slipped in and out.

What advice do you have for others who are thinking of entering NAHA?

Do it! Follow your heart and be true to your creative self. Don't do it for the “fame,” or the win, even though it is certainly wonderful to be recognized by your peers. Do it for pure artistry, and know that whatever happens, you’ve documented a moment in your career that is wonderful.